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A review of The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy by Daniel Bell Literary Review of Canada September 2015 It was a typical Beijing scene. I was in a private room in a restaurant having dinner with a handful of academics, the head of a Daoist temple, a rich young businessman, a senior official in…

Read More Rule by Merit: Is China’s political system superior to western democracy?

On Sunday the New York Times published a report,  China Outpaces U.S. in Cleaner Coal-Fired Plants, which documented China’s transition to cleaner forms of energy. Although much of China’s energy needs are still met by inefficient coal-fired power stations with poor track records in terms of emissions, China has begun to invest heavily in cleaner coal technology…

Read More sustainable economic decisions

I’m teaching a course in religion and the environment this term, and my students are preparing to debate this very question: is democracy good for sustainability? By way of background, they have been reading Judith Shapiro’s book Mao’s War Against Nature, which forcefully details the way that Maoist ideology trumped scientific reason in charting China’s…

Read More is democracy good for sustainability?